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Mentha spicata

Mentha spicata (*)

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Lamiids
Ordo: Lamiales

Familia: Lamiaceae
Subfamilia: Nepetoideae
Tribus: Mentheae
Subtribus: Menthinae
Genus: Mentha
Species: Mentha spicata
Subspecies: M. s. subsp. condensata – M. s. subsp. spicata

Mentha spicata L., 1753
Native distribution areas:

Continental: Asia-Temperate
Regional: Central Asia
Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan, Tibet, Turkmenistan, West Himalaya
Regional: Central Asiahina
China South-Central, China Southeast
Regional: Western Asia
Cyprus, East Aegean Is., Iran, Lebanon-Syria, North Caucasus, Palestine, Sinai, Transcaucasus, Turkey
Continental: Europe
Regional: Southeastern Europe
Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Kriti, Romania, Sicilia, Turkey-in-Europe, Ukraine, Yugoslavia
Regional: Southwestern Europe
France, Sardegna
Regional: Northern Europe
Norway, Sweden
Regional: Middle Europe
Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland
Continental: Africa
Regional: Northern Africa
Introduced into:
Alabama, Alaska, Alberta, Algeria, Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Argentina South, Arizona, Arkansas, Azores, Baleares, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Brazil South, British Columbia, California, Canary Is., Cape Provinces, Central European Rus, Chad, Colorado, Connecticut, Corse, Delaware, District of Columbia, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Falkland Is., Florida, Free State, Gambia, Georgia, Great Britain, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ireland, Irkutsk, Japan, Kansas, Kentucky, Krym, Libya, Louisiana, Madeira, Maine, Manitoba, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mauritania, Mexico Northwest, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Morocco, Nebraska, Nevada, New Brunswick, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New South Wales, New York, New Zealand North, New Zealand South, Niger, Norfolk Is., North Carolina, Northwest European R, Nova Scotia, Ohio, Oklahoma, Ontario, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Prince Edward I., Québec, Rhode I., Saskatchewan, Society Is., South Carolina, South Dakota, Spain, Tennessee, Texas, Tristan da Cunha, Tunisia, Utah, Venezuela, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus II: 576. Reference page.

Additional references

Acevedo-Rodríguez, P. & Strong, M.T. (2012). Catalogue of seed plants of the West Indies Smithsonian Contributions to Botany 98: 1-1192.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2022. Mentha spicata in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2022 Apr 21. Reference page.
Hassler, M. 2022. Mentha spicata. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2022. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2022 Apr 22. Reference page. 2022. Mentha spicata. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 22 Apr 2022.
International Plant Names Index. 2022. Mentha spicata. Published online. Accessed: Apr 22 2022.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Mentha spicata in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07-Oct-06.

Vernacular names
العربية: نعناع مدبب
azərbaycanca: Sünbüllü nanə
български: джоджен, Гьозум, Гюзъм, Юзум
বাংলা: পুদিনা,
català: Menta verda
čeština: máta klasnatá
Cymraeg: Mintys ysbigog, Mint
dansk: Grøn Mynte
Deutsch: Grüne Minze, Ährige Minze, Speer-Minze, Ähren-Minze, Spearmint, Waldminze, Wald-Minze, Krause Minze
Ελληνικά: Δυόσμος
English: spearmint, spear mint
español: hierbabuena, yerbabuena
eesti: Rohemünt
euskara: Mendabeltz
فارسی: نعناع زینتی
suomi: Viherminttu
français: menthe verte
galego: Hortelá verde, Hortelá
hornjoserbsce: Zelena mjetlička
magyar: Fodormenta, zöldmenta
italiano: menta viridis
日本語: スペアミント, チリメンハッカ, 緑薄荷, ミドリハッカ, スペアーミント, オランダハッカ
kurdî: Nane
lietuvių: Šaltmėtė
Nederlands: Aarmunt, Groene munt, Hertsmunt, Kruizemunt
polski: Mięta zielona, Mięta kłosowa
Piemontèis: Mentha viridis
português do Brasil: hortelã-verde
português: hortelã-de-leite, hortelã-verde, hortelã-das-cozinhas, hortelã-dos-temperos, hortelã-vulgar, hortelã-das-hortas, hortelã-comum, hortelã
Runa Simi: Ispiha muña, Mentha viridis
русский: Мята колосистая, Мята садовая, Мята кучерявая, Мята имбирная.
davvisámegiella: Ruonáminta
slovenčina: mäta klasnatá
svenska: grönmynta, Hjärtmynta, Krusmynta
తెలుగు: పుదీనా, పుదీనా ఆకు
Türkçe: Kıvırcık nane
українська: М'ята кучерява, М'ята колосовидна, Кучерява м'ята
中文(简体): 留兰香
中文(繁體): 留蘭香
中文(臺灣): 留蘭香
中文: 留蘭香, 香花菜, 荷蘭薄荷, 香薄荷, 绿薄荷, 綠薄荷, 留兰香, 鱼香菜, 青薄荷

Spearmint, also known as garden mint, common mint, lamb mint and mackerel mint,[5][6] is a species of mint, Mentha spicata, native to Europe and southern temperate Asia, extending from Ireland in the west to southern China in the east. It is naturalized in many other temperate parts of the world, including northern and southern Africa, North America and South America.[7][8] It is used as a flavouring in food and herbal teas. The aromatic oil, called oil of spearmint, is also used as a flavouring and sometimes as a scent.

The species and its subspecies have many synonyms, including Mentha crispa, Mentha crispata and Mentha viridis.

Spearmint in Bangladesh

Spearmint is a perennial herbaceous plant. It is 30–100 cm (12–39 in) tall, with variably hairless to hairy stems and foliage, and a wide-spreading fleshy underground rhizome from which it grows. The leaves are 5–9 cm (2–3+1⁄2 in) long and 1.5–3 cm (1⁄2–1+1⁄4 in) broad, with a serrated margin. The stem is square-shaped, a defining characteristic of the mint family of herbs. Spearmint produces flowers in slender spikes, each flower pink or white in colour, 2.5–3 mm (0.098–0.118 in) long, and broad.[8][9] Spearmint flowers in the summer (from July to September in the northern hemisphere),[10] and has relatively large seeds, which measure 0.62–0.90 mm (0.024–0.035 in).[10] The name 'spear' mint derives from the pointed leaf tips.[11]

Mentha spicata varies considerably in leaf blade dimensions, the prominence of leaf veins, and pubescence.[12]

Mentha spicata was first described scientifically by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.[1] The epithet spicata means 'bearing a spike'.[13] The species has two accepted subspecies, each of which has acquired a large number of synonyms:[1][3][4]

Mentha spicata subsp. condensata (Briq.) Greuter & Burdet – eastern Mediterranean, from Italy to Egypt
Mentha spicata subsp. spicata – distribution as for the species as a whole

Origin and hybrids

The plant is a allopolyploid species (2n = 48),[14][15] which could be a result of hybridization and chromosome doubling. Mentha longifolia and Mentha suaveolens (2n = 24) are likely to be the contributing diploid species.[10][16][17]

Mentha spicata hybridizes with other Mentha species, forming hybrids such as:[17]

Mentha × piperita (hybrid with Mentha aquatica), black peppermint, hairy peppermint
Mentha × gracilis (hybrid with Mentha arvensis), Scotch spearmint
Mentha × villosa (hybrid with Mentha suaveolens)

There are other cultivars:

Mentha spicata 'strawberry' - with a distinct strawberry odor.[18][19]

History and domestication

Mention of spearmint dates back to at least the 1st century AD, with references from naturalist Pliny and mentions in the Bible.[20][21] Further records show descriptions of mint in ancient mythology.[21] Findings of early versions of toothpaste using mint in the 14th century suggest widespread domestication by this point.[21] It was introduced into England through the Romans by the 5th century, and the "Father of British Botany", of the surname Turner, mentions mint as being good for the stomach.[21] John Gerard's Herbal (1597) states that: "It is good against watering eyes and all manner of break outs on the head and sores. It is applied with salt to the biting of mad dogs," and that "They lay it on the stinging of wasps and bees with good success." He also mentions that "the smell rejoice the heart of man", for which cause they used to strew it in chambers and places of recreation, pleasure and repose, where feasts and banquets are made."[22]

Spearmint is documented as being an important cash crop in Connecticut during the period of the American Revolution, at which time mint teas were noted as being a popular drink due to them not being taxed.[20]

Spearmint can readily adapt to grow in various types of soil. Spearmint tends to thrive with plenty of organic material in full sun to part shade. The plant is also known to be found in moist habitats such as swamps or creeks, where the soil is sand or clay.[23]

Spearmint ideally thrives in soils that are deep and well drained, moist, rich in nutrients and organic matter, and have a crumbly texture. pH range should be between 6.0 and 7.5.[24]
Diseases and pests
Fungal diseases

Fungal diseases are common diseases in spearmint. Two main diseases are rust and leaf spot. Puccinia menthae is a fungus that causes the disease called "rust". Rust affects the leaves of spearmint by producing pustules inducing the leaves to fall off. Leaf spot is a fungal disease that occurs when Alternaria alernata is present on the spearmint leaves. The infection looks like circular dark spot on the top side of the leaf. Other fungi that cause disease in spearmint are Rhizoctonia solani, Verticillium dahliae, Phoma strasseri, and Erysiphe cischoracearum.[25]
Nematode diseases

Some nematode diseases in spearmint include root knot and root lesions. Nematode species that cause root knots in this plant are various Meloidogyne species. The other nematode species are Pratylenchus which cause root lesions.[25]
Viral and phytoplasmal diseases

Spearmint can be infected by tobacco ringspot virus. This virus can lead to stunted plant growth and deformation of the leaves in this plant. In China, spearmint have been seen with mosaic symptoms and deformed leaves. This is an indication that the plant can also be infected by the viruses, cucumber mosaic and tomato aspermy.[25]
Cultivation and harvest

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Spearmint grows well in nearly all temperate climates. [26]Gardeners often grow it in pots or planters due to its invasive, spreading rhizomes.[27]

Spearmint leaves can be used fresh, dried, or frozen. [28]The leaves lose their aromatic appeal after the plant flowers. It can be dried by cutting just before, or right (at peak) as the flowers open, about one-half to three-quarters the way down the stalk (leaving smaller shoots room to grow).[29] Some dispute exists as to what drying method works best; some prefer different materials (such as plastic or cloth) and different lighting conditions (such as darkness or sunlight). The leaves can also be preserved in salt, sugar, sugar syrup, alcohol, or oil.
Oil uses

Spearmint is used for its aromatic oil, called oil of spearmint. The most abundant compound in spearmint oil is R-(–)-carvone, which gives spearmint its distinctive smell. Spearmint oil also contains significant amounts of limonene, dihydrocarvone, and 1,8-cineol.[30] Unlike oil of peppermint, oil of spearmint contains minimal amounts of menthol and menthone. It is used as a flavouring for toothpaste and confectionery, and is sometimes added to shampoos and soaps.
Traditional medicine

Spearmint has been used in traditional medicine.[23]
Insecticide and pesticide

Spearmint essential oil has had success as a larvicide against mosquitoes. Using spearmint as a larvicide would be a greener alternative to synthetic insecticides due to their toxicity and negative effect to the environment.[31]

Used as a fumigant, spearmint essential oil is an effective insecticide against adult moths.[32]
Antimicrobial research

Spearmint has been used for its supposed antimicrobial activity, which may be related to carvone.[33] Its in vitro antibacterial activity has been compared to that of amoxicillin, penicillin, and streptomycin.[33] Spearmint oil is found to have higher activity against gram-positive bacteria compared to gram-negative bacteria in vitro,[33] which may be due to differing sensitivities to oils.[34][35]
Spearmint leaves are infused in water to make spearmint tea. Spearmint is an ingredient of Maghrebi mint tea. Grown in the mountainous regions of Morocco, this variety of mint possesses a clear, pungent, but mild aroma.[36] Spearmint is an ingredient in several mixed drinks, such as the mojito and mint julep. Sweet tea, iced and flavoured with spearmint, is a summer tradition in the Southern United States.


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